Laser Incising of Wood: A review

Subhasisa Nath, David Waugh, Graham Ormondroyd, Morwenna Spear, Andy Pitman, Simon Curling, Paul Mason

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Preservative treatment is necessary to provide adequate service lives in products manufactured from low durability timbers. However, the low permeability of the heartwoods of many species leads to poor preservative uptake and penetration. To improve treatment, incising has been used to produce new flow paths. Laser incising is effective at improving flow of preservative into wood and is said to produce less mechanical damage and loss of strength than conventional mechanical incising. This review provides an overview of laser incision of woods, including the effects of laser types (wavelength and pulse duration) on incision rate, preservative treatability/retention in wood and structural changes to the wood. Best practices and further areas for development for laser incising of wood are also presented and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-403
Number of pages23
JournalLasers in Engineering
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2020


  • Incision
  • Lasers
  • Treatability
  • Wavelength preservative treatment
  • Wood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Nath, S., Waugh, D., Ormondroyd, G., Spear, M., Pitman, A., Curling, S., & Mason, P. (2020). Laser Incising of Wood: A review. Lasers in Engineering, 45(4-6), 381-403.